The Ache

Sometimes
the pain is just too much
an anvil on my heart
something missing at my core.
Was it something I lost
or something I have yet to find?
The ache
to be filled
is unbearable.
I feel deficient,
despite knowing
I was born whole.

I take this life too seriously, I’m told.
Lighten up.
Be grateful.
You’re one of the lucky ones.
Don’t be selfish.
Don’t be greedy.
You have all you need.
Then why this ache?
If this pain, as some say,
is somehow molding me
polishing me
unleashing me
why is it
I don’t feel free?

I fill the void
with nothing
but sorrow
anger
shame.
Where has all the love gone?
Was there ever any to begin with?
Or were there only temporary bandaids
me seeking elsewhere
for what should have existed within
all along?
Fill me! Fill me, please!
Love me but
make me believe it too.

Rocks hurled at me every day –
responsibilities unmet
loved ones displeased
my child overloaded –
I try to keep it together
hold it all in
open the dam gates only
when no one’s in sight.
But sometimes
others’ barbs sear me
cut holes into my facade
allowing the ugliness to burst out.
I’m only human.
But
I’m also a mother
scarred by generations of other mothers
desperately trying not
to repeat the sins of the past.

I know You are here and now
but still I feel so alone.
What am I missing?
Is there something You haven’t told me?
Some message You’ve been sending
that I haven’t been receiving
or never learned how to?

Every love letter you sent
I smeared.
Every bouquet of roses
I razed.
Every box with a bow
I re-gifted.
Why?
Why would I do that?
I’m sorry but
love never felt safe.
Love and hurt
were one and the same.
I built walls
to leave love
out in the cold
and inside
act like I had
all the control.

The ache tore that farce to the ground though.
It may have taken years, decades, but
the ache slowly built up to a quake
that unearthed me.
In the wreckage I find
something is missing.
Something has always been missing.
Please show me where to find it.
Please help me to embrace it
without returning to sender
without ripping it to shreds.

You love me
and that is all that matters.
The rest is just fluff
obscuring my view
of all that is beautiful
and true.

The Ultimate High

Once I experienced the Ultimate High,
my life couldn’t possibly hold the same lure.
I could return to a flavorless existence,
or I could keep coming back for more.

Now, prayer is no longer a chore,
but a love letter in motion,
Your remembrance is never forced,
but a daydream to get lost in.

I want every book I read,
every movie I view,
every conversation I have
to revolve around You.

Surrounded by other lovers,
I gaze deeply into their eyes,
looking for my reflection,
till the early hours of sunrise,

talking about sacred whispers,
transcendent states, lifted veils,
facing our inner demons,
enduring our personal travails.

All else pales in comparison.
One taste of You is so sweet,
so divinely succulent,
one bite and I feel complete.

Still,
I keep coming back for more.
What tasteless mire
was I eating before?

Bliss

Sparking magic and wonder in an innocent child’s eyes,
autumn trees swathed in emeralds, rubies and citrine,
summertime sunsets reflected in still waters,
the sound of steam rising from a kettle,
sharing long-held secrets with a trust-worthy confidante,
stolen kisses with a long-time love,
gentle breezes skirting past during evening walks,
and the tingling sensation of reuniting with your Beloved:
this
is
bliss.
Moments borrowed from heaven.
Moments that make you wish
you weren’t so numb.
Moments that make you yearn
for the courage to feel
these blissful reminders
of Bliss itself.

House of Mirrors

Some days this world is like a snow globe
in the hands of a gleeful child
being shaken with force and fury,
snowstorms, hurricanes, wildfires, riled.

Other days this world is like a house of mirrors,
each speck of love and good will
reflected from one crystalline heart to another,
multiplied, magnified, distilled.

Our crystal hearts come in all shapes and shine,
rubies, emeralds, sapphires, divine,
slate grey stones, cloudy pebbles,
prismatic diamonds, onyx rebels.

Some are cracked, some have coating,
bubble-wrapped or free-floating.
Some have dark stains, deeply set,
Others are polished, gleaming with sweat.

Each light reflects and absorbs
the One True Guiding Light.
Though we sense it all around us,
it blinds even the sharpest sight.

This life is like a treasure hunt,
with clues and signs at every turn,
nudging us in the right direction,
each prize, another truth to learn.

As I gaze upon the night sky,
I wonder if our microscopic atoms
revolve in synchronous dance with
our universe’s planetary patterns.

We started out as only One,
then separated into dualities,
branched into clans and countries,
created divisive mentalities.

How seriously we take this illusory life,
how foolishly we resist our intuition.
Surely, it leads those who listen with care,
to eternal peace and submission.

Your Compassion

Bathing in a glistening pool of Your compassion,
I stretch my body taut,
floating on a current of utter bliss,
happy to let go of all control,
relieved to hand over the reins,
skimming around rocks,
being led by waves and wind,
falling over a precipice,
only to have You catch me.
I’d been living like a blind man
struggling behind a steering wheel,
when all I really desired
was to let go,
submit,
to You.
My control was an illusion,
unhappiness, an illusion,
separation from You, an illusion.
Lift up the curtain between our worlds
so that we may finally be One.
And if you must make me wait then
turn me into a mad and gushing sea,
or the spiraling winds of a tornado,
a terrifying eruption of sizzling lava,
or a quaking deep within Mother Earth.
Let me wreak my havoc on this world,
with uncontrolled abandon.
Or else,
bathe me in the glistening pools of Your Compassion,
where time will not stalk me,
pain is a figment of the imagination,
and pleasure awaits at every turn,
the pleasure that I am on my way,
hungry for a taste of,
aching to reunite with,
finally ready to give in to,
You.

The Why Behind the Why Behind the Why

Inspired by Rumi’s “The Root of the Root of Your Self”

When I tune the whole world out
in order to look in,
I look for the why behind the why behind the why.

Why…do I feel so alone?
When I know that You are with me
everywhere I go.

Why…do I forget Your presence?
When I can see Your signs all around me –
water curled up in the clouds,
the freshest air atop the tallest peaks,
Your grand design woven through the very chrysalis of creation,
as mankind grows and evolves,
sinks and dissolves,
paints the world in ugly colors,
turns its mess into a masterpiece.

Why…do I not see Your signs,
even when my eyes are wide open?
Is it You who placed this veil on my heart,
or my inner demons who blinded me
by lulling me into soulless slumber?

Why…do I still then feel pain,
despite every attempt to be numb?
Is this a punishment for my many transgressions,
or a merciful reminder,
more bitter than sweet,
of the ache,
the longing,
to be whole again?

If you look for the why behind the why behind the why,
the answer to every question is You,
Your infinite love,
Your magnificent mercy,
Your enigmatic plan.

When I tune the whole world out
in order to look in
what I’m really doing
is meeting You at our favorite rendezvous,
dancing around You like a giggly school girl,
trying to get as close as I can.
What I’m really doing
is looking for the One
Who never gives up on me,
brings me gifts wrapped in pain,
wrapped in pleasure,
sends me love notes in every song I hear,
writes me poems in every word I read,
breaks my heart
only to put it back together again,
reminding me every second of every day
how dearly I am loved.

When the weight of the world overwhelms me,
I just look for the why behind the why behind the why
because that’ s our special spot,
and it’s a date for which You’re never late.

Come a Little Closer

Sometimes it feels like I’m always sad
and things will never be any other way.
The void within will continue to grow,
as will this angst and constant searching
for something I may never get.
Is it an all-consuming purpose?
The truth about life?
Or just the truth about my life?

Although living this privileged existence on the outside,
my spirit feels as restless as a wandering dervish,
always in search of the truth,
looking for beauty and love
in every speck and every soul,
in every corner of this world.

Sometimes I wonder if I have a beautiful soul.
But what good is it if there’s no one to see it,
to recognize it
and appreciate it?
It’s never meant much to me to have a pretty face,
yet somehow,
that is what matters to most.

You are the only One who truly knows me,
but I hardly know You.
The closer I try to get,
the farther I seem to move away
from the people of this world,
their desires,
their to do lists,
their visions for the future.

I wish I could meet You,
but instead I try to gather You,
like items on a scavenger hunt,
from your most fragile forms,
like the petals of a flower
or the nuanced brushstrokes of a breaking dawn,
to your most resplendent creations,
like the lush and lofty trees of the rainforests
or the majestic star-lit sky.
From the concrete columns of architectural marvels
to the intangible emotions of a couple lost in love,
I collect each piece of you
and add it to the void within,
hoping for a sense of closeness,
a glimpse of paradise,
a soulful balm.
And sometimes,
it works.

I often wonder if You’re watching me from above
or deep within
and laughing at my exertions
trying so hard
to feel so close
to the One who is already
so near.

Why is joy so hard to experience?
Why are guilt and fear so deeply ingrained in our psyches?
Why are these invisible bonds so impossible to break?
These cloaks of despair so hard to shake?

You say You’re closer to us than our jugular vein.
Why, then, is it so hard to feel You?
Are you hidden in my tears?
Are you blended in my breath?
Because then I might understand
why I cry so much,
why I sigh so much.

Sometimes I think
you ask too much
of me.
Or perhaps I am one of your weaker creations,
to serve what purpose, I do not know,
except to feel
this ever-present
pull.

What do I do with all this love,
with all this longing?
How do I spend this life
so far away from You?
Unless perhaps,
You think it’s time
to come a little closer,
so I may finally experience
the infinite,
before this life is over.